Charlottenburg Palace – New Wing
Outstanding, Elegant and Prestigious
After beginning his reign in 1740, Frederick the Great had Sanssouci Palace built in Potsdam and also expanded Charlottenburg’s Old Palace with the addition of the New Wing. The highlights of this self-contained palace structure, which was nearly destroyed in World War II and subsequently largely reconstructed, are its grand festival halls. The White Hall and the opulent Golden Gallery are among the most beautiful Rococo creations in Europe.
In addition to the grand halls, two separately situated apartments were created for the artistic king. One of the largest collections of 18th century French painting outside France can be seen in these interiors, including masterpieces by Antoine Watteau.
Similarly, Frederick the Great’s nephew and successor, King Frederick William II, had a summer apartment in the New Wing designed in the Chinese and Etruscan styles, as well as winter chambers in an early Neoclassical style. From 1788–91, he had the palace ensemble along the Large Orangery completed with the construction of an independent Theater Building designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans.
His son and daughter-in-law, Frederick William III and the celebrated Luise, also used the New Wing as a preferred summer residence. The queen resided in the winter chambers of her father-in-law, located on the upper floor to the west. Karl Friedrich Schinkel created her elegant bedchamber, a fine example of Prussian furniture design, in 1810. A superlative royal art collection from the early 19th century that includes major works of French painting is presented in the former apartment of Frederick William III on the ground floor.
The heyday of Berlin sculpture is brought to life in a presentation of Neoclassical and Romantic sculptures displayed in the vestibule of the New Wing.
A compact guide to the palace gardens and their buildings may be ordered here.